Glyph Quest Chronicles coming July 20th!


After many (many) months of hard work and tweaking we are so very nearly ready to share Chronicles with everyone, thats right EVERYONE!

Glyph Quest Chronicles is coming to iOS and Android July 20th!

So pop that in you calendar and let your friends know, adventure is mere days away.


Glyph Quest Chronicles is in soft launch!



After a successful and busy beta we are happy to announce that Glyph Quest Chronicles has been soft launched in Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore and Sweden on iOS!

We will have more details on the world wide launch and the Android release soon so keep checking our Twitter and Facebook for more updates.  You can also follow the soft launch on our forum over at Touch Arcade.


Glyph Quest Chronicles Beta is live!

We are inching closer and closer to the release of Chronicles and our (now closed) beta is live with a few hundred avid questers signed up to test away!


If you are curious about how it’s going you can check the Touch Arcade forum and see how the testers are getting on (and yup, these keen individuals are already digging up bugs!) and their thoughts on Chronicles.

We’ll be back soon with more info on when you can get your hands on Chronicles and join in the adventure!


The Marketing Dance

With the game about to open its doors to the public – albeit in a limited, beta – we’re very close to the finish line. Very close indeed. We’re confident in how the game plays – in fact, that’s something that hasn’t changed significantly over the duration of the project. The beta will be used mainly to highlight bugs and any shortcomings in our ‘onboarding’ process – that is, how well people who have never played the game before are introduced to all of the features that they need to know to be able to play it.

There are no major features to go in. We’re about to hook up some rudimentary analytics so that we’ll be able to tell how far people get in the game and that sort of thing. Beyond that, it’s a case of waiting for the audio to be finished and implemented.

Then it’s go time!

So our thoughts are now having to turn to that of marketing and there’s one absolutely huge question that stands out here:

How do you market a game that, to a casual observer, seems like ‘just another Match-3’?


We mean it!

It’s a real doozy too. Most marketing takes the form of images or video. In fact, even the helpful articles written by sites like Touch Arcade or Pocket Gamer will normally have come about because you reached out to them with a screenshot or two of your game in the first place.

People (and especially mobile gamers) are incredibly lazy in general. They’ll make snap judgements based on an initial impression and, being incredibly time-poor, move on to bigger and better things the instant they think they ‘get’ it. But it’s not just their fault – the sheer amount of noise in the mobile space is simply ridiculous. You couldn’t possibly take it all in.

That’s a real problem for us. Our game starts out like a very simple Match-3 but rapidly evolves into something much, much more than that. Sadly, you really have to play it to appreciate that fact.

Screenshots just won’t cut it. Sure, they’ll highlight Leanne’s wonderful artwork, which is plenty different from most of the stuff out there and enough for some people to take a punt on it, but I’m not convinced that’ll be enough.


Spot the difference

I don’t even think that gameplay videos are going to be much use here. I think there’s going to have to be some pretty hardcore editing to get the damage model – one of the core gameplay differentials – represented in such a way that people can see the depth.

Downloads occur in two ways – either people discover our game organically or through marketing.

The organic side is a real crap-shoot. This is the bit that happens because we got featured or were spotted in the charts. Being featured is not guaranteed by any stretch and even if we do manage it, there’s still no real promise of success beyond the initial week or so of featuring. A lot of that depends on when we release and what else comes out at the same time. Thankfully, we’ll be avoiding the bloodbath that is December and be more in line with February if all goes to plan, which will give us a little more space to be seen.

The marketing side means that the person has actively sought us out – either by searching for us on the App Store or following a link that they’ve discovered through some other channel. Nominally these channels will be from review sites, blogs, vlogs or adverts.

As a free download, we don’t have the barrier to entry that a premium title would and that’s something. Then you’ve got to hope that the user in question is of the mind to ‘give it a go – hey, it’s free right?’ and not one of those that takes a look at the bit that says ‘Contains in-app purchases’ and storms off in a huff like we just said something derogatory about their sister.

We do have some interesting selling points to offer up. I think there’s still some cachet in the story of our development setup – it’s who we are and the fact that we’re not a big, faceless corporation out to fleece everyone for as much as they can get has got to carry some weight, yes? So hopefully features like Patron Mode – where we disable the energy mechanic if you spend a certain amount of money – will have an appeal to those that despise F2P.


(Left to right) Leanne, Willow and Alex, the team behind Glyph Quest Chronicles!

Then it’s back to convincing people that the game has so much more depth than a common or garden Match-3. Mastering Chains and Reversals to take down creatures much bigger than you’d otherwise be able to with raw power. Using the Combos to migrate your Chain and exploit elemental weaknesses. Discovering the Pull Glyph mechanic and using it to plan for future moves. Optimising and upgrading equipment and your Familiar to counter the types of monsters you’re likely to meet on a given quest. Laughing at the really, really funny* jokes.

Of course, once someone has downloaded our game, it’s not over yet. Then we have to hope that they like the game enough to actually pay us some money for it.

And that’s a whole other can of worms…

* Well, I like them so there.

Legends of Gaming and Tokyo Game Show

It’s been a long time since we’ve updated the blog and that’s just because of how very busy we have been!

Since our last post we have taken Glyph Quest Chronicles to not just one, but two gaming shows and as always we have had a great time letting you guys see what we’re up to and getting all your thoughts and feedback on the game so far.

Legends of Gaming


Chronicles Booth set up V.3


First on the list was Legends of Gaming, a show we didn’t know much about but are happy we went along.  Unlike MCM and Develop the audience here was mostly kids, 8-14yo boys for the most part (and their parents), and almost all of them had blue hair thanks to Dan TDM. What do you mean you don’t know who he is?

The Indie Zone here was an eclectic mix as ever and we were one of the only mobile games. Looking around we didn’t think we would be terribly popular (not nearly enough violence, cars or VR in Chronicles) but to our pleasant surprise the game was a hit!

“The most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop.”

One thing you can count on is that little kids have zero tact.  When you go to a show, people will play your game and then tell you that yeah, it’s great.  Even if they don’t really like it, if they’re talking to you – the games creator – they will at the very least be polite.  Not so with children.  And do you know what?  They really liked the game!  Some of them came back several times to have more turns playing, and a few of the siblings turned it into a competitive game seeing who could clear Quests the quickest.

As with Develop, our Booth kit evolved again.  The set up at Legends of Gaming included a screen so we put a quick trailer together to have running alongside the game which was on an iPad in the Tome.  We also had more loot to give away.  After playing a Quest (or two) we would ask people to pick a prize card to win one of the badges or stickers we had to give away, this proved a big hit with the kids.


Loot!  Big thanks to the guys at Awesome Mech, these badges and stickers turned out great.

We didn’t know what to expect going into Legends of Gaming, it’s an event we’d not been to before, but we had a really nice time and got some very positive vibes from the kids and their folks.


Tokyo Game Show

The week after Legends of Gaming was Tokyo Game Show!  This is by far the biggest event we’ve taken Chronicles to and the biggest Indie Zone we’ve featured in!


Booth Set Up V.4!  This time in Japanese.

Visiting Japan and taking a game to TGS has long been an ambition of ours so this was a fantastic opportunity!  With over 270,000 visitors over the 4 days we were kept very busy with constant stream of visitors to the booth.  And again we have picked up some new tricks for demoing a game at a show.

If you are lucky enough to be taking a game to Tokyo Game Show, you need hand outs!  Flyers or postcards, posters or as many other people had – fans!  The show going press and public of Japan are so very polite and generally expect to be handed a flyer about your game before they come up and play, sometimes even an invitation to come up and have a go is too direct!

It was great to get more feedback from the crowd at TGS, they seemed to be really into the game and would stand and play for a few Quests.  It was also really nice to meet some of the press, including the guys at Famitsu and Touch Arcade, who filmed a little hands on video at the show.  The write ups from the local press were all great reviews, including a lovely little piece in!


Sebusan desu!

We owe a massive thanks to Chorus Worldwide for bringing us out to TGS, and to Rumpus! for being such great booth buddies.

What we know about shows now:

  • People are still very reticent to try a game running on a tablet device. The “They’re not proper games” opinion will undoubtably be the subject of a future blog post / rant.
  • It doesn’t really matter if you convince everyone who plays your game to go and buy it. What you need to do is convince them to tell their friends to go and do so. As such, particular attention should be paid to getting the attention of the media at these events. Coverage is key.
  • Cables. Connectors. Power adaptors. If in doubt, bring it. Who knows what setup the booth will have but I bet it’ll require something that you didn’t bring. If they turn out to be superfluous to your needs, you can become the saviour for another indie who perhaps didn’t read this piece of advice and is lacking that one thing that you have.
  • Anything you can do to make your booth stand out is very useful. Most times, it’ll come with a poster or banner or something that lets people know what’s there. Sometimes it doesn’t – especially if you’re going for the cheapest booth option – so bring your own. Also, tape, blu-tack, velcro and an assortment of other things that can be used to stick things to other things. Top booth hack – a spare  T-shirt on a hangar can usually be hooked on to the top of the backboard to form an impromptu banner.
  • Shows are very tiring. Wear comfortable shoes and drink plenty of fluids. If possible, see if you can get a booth with a chair – you’ll be the envy of all those around you.
  • We’re doing it wrong. Judging by the real superstars, we shouldn’t be making games – we should be making videos about games instead.


That’s all for now, and maybe the last time the Tome and Pyromancer outfit make it to a show.

– Leanne.

P.S. – At both Legends of Gaming and Tokyo Game Show our booth managed to be right under a Pokéstop, which was fantastic for catching regional exclusive Onion Duck 🙂


August’s #ScreenShotSaturday round up

Another month, another bunch of #ScreenShotSaturday posts to look over!  In August we looked at Glyph animations, merchandise and the Summons!

Glyph Animations


We’ve been thinking a lot about the Glyphs and how to keep the Spell Board interesting.  We have a lot more Spell Effects that will change their appearance such as Burn, Infect and Power Up but we wanted to keep the Glyphs ‘alive’ and so started playing around with animations for them.

Inspired by my love of Puzzle Bobble/Bust-A-Move I drew up a little test animation for the Moon Glyph to be triggered occasionally.  And whilst we are loving the look, it’s proving a lot harder to implement.

So Glyph Animations are on the back burner for now.  We hope they’ll make it into launch but may have to wait for a later update.



Legends of Gaming Live is coming up and so it was time to order new merch to give away!  This time we are going for badges, stickers and for a very lucky few, T-shirts!  Here we shared the badge designs featuring all our lovely ladies.  So if you are coming along to Legends of Gaming Live, come and find us in the Indie Zone for your chance to win a prize!

The Summons

Promoted now to 6 Glyphs, the Summons are powerful Elemental allies that join you in combat.  On Summoning, the Elemental will cast a powerful spell and then stay with you and power up all Glyphs of their Element!  After casting Spells using 6 of those Power Up Glyphs the Elemental will leave the fight, casting one more powerful spell!


Some of the Summons for Chronicles are all new and some are returning characters, so far picking a favorite has been quite the challenge!  The Phoenix, Sun Knight, Djinn, Heart of the Forest and Cthuttlefish all reprise their roles as Summons.  The Reaper and Golem step down to make way for the Moon Moth and Gaia.  Finally Demon Lord Zubzebub has been promoted from lowly NPC to glorious Elemental and is the new Summon for Arcane.


If you want to keep up to date with #screenshotSaturday don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

– Leanne.

This time next year…

Glyph Quest Chronicles is drawing tantalisingly near to completion. There’s still plenty of i dotting and t crossing and a spot of balancing to get everything Just Right, but we’re so close.

It’s at times like these when we start to think: What If?

What If this game is a success? Success, in this case, means Makes Enough Money That Our Publisher Breaks Even And We Start Seeing Some Revenue Share. If that’s the case then we can continue this great indie adventure.

But what if it does a bit better than that? What if it brings in money that doesn’t immediately have to be spent on rent and food and keeping Willow alive? What do we do then? I’m not talking CSR / Monument Valley / Pokemon Go levels of cash – although I do regularly play Fantasy House Buyer once or twice a week just in case – but enough so that we can consider it ‘disposable’.

With that in mind, we have collated a list. A list of things to buy to celebrate our Great Success.

  1. A Medium-Sized Pan. We had a set of three pans – small, medium and large. Poor ol’ medium got on the wrong side of a neglected pasta meal one time and had to be binned off. There have been countless times since then that we have required a pan somewhere between small and large and Leanne has never let me forget it.
  2. A slap-up meal. There’s this little restaurant that we keep passing on the way to the local Lidl. It looks nice. Maybe when we’ve got the cash we’ll trick some people into coming over and babysitting whilst we go out for dinner.
  3. A plasterer. Sure, we’ve already got all of the stuff we think we need to repair the walls in Willow’s room so that we can paint them up, but let’s be honest – we don’t have the first clue about plastering. It will probably be a good idea to get someone in to do it for us or, more correctly, repair the botch job we did in their absence.
  4. An electrician. Along similar lines, our kitchen keeps turning itself off. We don’t know why, nor do we feel even remotely qualified to look into it ourselves.
  5. A PS4. Not just a PS4, but a PS4 with two copies of Dark Souls III so we can finally play it.
  6. A PC. Something with a bit of grunt to it that means that we’re not just limited to making iOS titles for the rest of our career. If it can handle Elite Dangerous in VR then so much the better…
  7. A pair of laptops. Leanne’s has finally given up the ghost and mine has almost completely fallen apart, we’re not looking at top of the line gaming laptops here just something we can game jam on.
  8. A slimline dishwasher. I don’t like washing up. I like to leave it until it develops both sentience and a sense of self image before it decides to wash itself up on its own accord. Our kitchen is also tiny, hence slimline.

Such luxuries, much indulgent, list wow. Not what you were expecting huh?

– Alex

Develop Conference 2016

This years Develop Conference was a first for us in a couple of ways, it was the first time we’ve demo’d in the Expo and the first time we’ve delivered a talk!  This year we had a number of meetings and an invite to pretty much every social event around the conference, including Pocket Gamers Big Indie Pitch.

The Pitch

This was my second and Alex’s first go at the Big Indie Pitch (first time round I pitched Glyph Quest Chronicles under its then working title Glyph Quest Ultimate), and we wanted to bring along what will hopefully be our next project to see what the panel of experts thought and maybe win some prizes.

This is a great event to practice those pithes in an environment that is not only safe (there’s nothing really riding on this, but the opportunities are limitless) but where you can chat with the judges after and get that all important feedback on how it went and how you can improve!  I was really happy to see some friends having a go and making the most of this event.  Our pitch didn’t win (the game is far too early, so next time Gadget!) but we didn’t go home empty handed having won the business card raffle and taking home a Fire TV and Controller thanks to the events co-host and sponsor Amazon.


Alex winning some loot!

The Expo

Having submitted for, but failed to get into the Indie Showcase, we were approached by Develop to see if we would like a table in the Expo as they had spaces left.  Seeing as we still have the signage and the iPad Tome from MCM Comic Con, it would have been foolish to turn the opportunity down.  So we dusted off the POS and printed fresh pages for the Tome, built a new Demo version of Chronicles and ordered merch!  If we learned anything from Comic Con, it’s that you need giveaways!  We ordered some stickers to give away at the booth and T-shirts for ourselves and as prizes in the Special Effect Raffle.  The other thing we learned from Comic Con is that location is everything, so we were over the moon when we arrived and could pick a spot!  Turns out being next to the Unreal sponsored chill out area was a good spot!


Note to self, next time more stickers!


The Expo ran on the Wednesday and Thursday, and for those two days we had a constant stream of people coming up to play, so thank you if you were one of the many who had a go, and apologies if you couldn’t get to us to try it out!

As with Comic Con, watching people play and getting their feedback was invaluable.  It was great to see the changes we implemented after MCM worked and as we approach the polish and testing phase of development we were able to get some new insight and pick up on tweaks to improve the experience.

And the Tome was a big hit again!  It’s shaping up to be the best couple of days worth of crafting we’ve done.

The Talk

Last year at Develop Conference I did a micro talk on why games companies should hire parents (ICYMI it’s because we’re awesome), well it was a hit with the crowd and I won a talk slot for this years conference.  So this year I talked about how we got started as independent developers and the three years and three games between then and now.

The talk didn’t exactly go smooth.  Earlier in the day I realised I had built a Mac version of the talk (it’s a game made in Unity you see) and my laptop is a Windows machine.  Disaster.  But no worries, I have Unity on the laptop so I can just build it again yes?  No.  Unity crashed every time I attempted a build for no readily apparent reason.  Luckily Unity had a stand in the expo and I had a USB stick.  Thankfully they were able to do a new build for me so disaster averted.  Almost.  Then I needed to find and borrow a figure 8 power lead as I had no hope my laptop wouldn’t die half way through the presentation.  The day was once again saved, this time by the incredible Quang of Asobi Tech (actual hero).  Sorted then.


The talk engine needs some work, and I need a new laptop 

Well not really… Delayed by a good 10 minuets and then further disruption as the AV connection was playing havoc with my laptop, eventually the talk got underway albeit rushed and with an off centre presentation.  I would like to thank all those who came along to see my talk and to just apologise that it was so rushed and the picture a bit skewed!  A few of you popped by the booth to ask questions (as we had no time after the talk) and said very kind things about my presentation so thank you for that.  If you were there and had a question do feel free to ask me on Twitter or send an email over, happy to help any way that I can!  Now I need to tweak the talk engine and get a new laptop 😦

And Everything Else

Of the talks I attended, Hannah Flynn’s piece on why games studios need a marketer if they want to avoid being the next blog post about how their indie studio crumbled because of lack of marketing stood out as a highlight.  James Parker also delivered an eyeopening (and hilarious) talk on indies porting to console, and Lorenzo Grimaldi talking about getting your game on to Play Station was insightful!  I missed many more than I got to see thanks to how busy we were, so I’m hoping to catch up on those when the videos come around.

One Special Day was lunched on the Thursday evening.  We were very happy to take part and donate all our takings for Super Glyph Quest on Friday 15th July and donate a couple of limited edition T-Shirts to the raffle!


Special Effect are an amazing charity! 

As with most games industry events it is all about the networking.  This year was another bumper year for that, it was great to catch up with friends, make some new acquaintances and put faces to those I’ve only ever talked to over email or Twitter.  So now I have a lot of emails to catch up on and some LinkedIn-ing to do.


Rami having a serious go at Chronicles and Bruce backseat gaming! 

Now I have no voice whatsoever!  It was a fantastic few days, we talked a lot to lots of people!  Very much looking forward to the next show we can get Glyph Quest Chronicles to 🙂


Develop Selfie!  These guys! 

– Leanne.

Super Glyph Quest for One Special Day!

Video games industry counts down to ‘One Special Day’ for charity

We Heart Dragons are supporting SpecialEffect by donating the days sales of Super Glyph Quest towards their One Special Day initiative on 15 July 2016.

Following in the footsteps of other sectors such as comedy with Comic Relief and football with Socceraid, the games industry have declared 15 July 2016 as their inaugural ‘One Special Day’ benefit with all proceeds going to UK-based charity SpecialEffect.


Companies from across the industry will be donating 100% of that day’s sales of one or more games, advertising revenue, in-app purchases, DLC or income from a dedicated activity or promotion.

The event will kick off with a celebration party on Thursday 14 July at the Develop Conference in Brighton. Other activities will include an online auction of rare and collectable gaming merchandise, due to commence on 8 July, and a showcase at the UKIE Westminster reception on 6 July to celebrate the inclusion and creativity of the UK games industry.

The industry hopes to raise £25,000 for the charity.

All the proceeds will be channelled into the work that SpecialEffect do to help gamers with disabilities. Gamers like Tom, a 26 year-old who has spinal muscular atrophy and very little movement in his fingers.

“With SpecialEffect’s help I was able to play for the first time in years,” he said, “And nothing can describe the feeling that gave me. So many things in life are limited because of my condition, but when I play a video game I’m in a world where the only limits are the ones I allow to be there.”

David Cameron has been a vocal supporter of the charity and during his visit in February he described SpecialEffect founder and CEO Dr Mick Donegan as “one of the most inspirational people I have met”. He said:

“You are making an enormous difference to lots of people… bringing together the things I am passionate about, because it shows business can be a force for social and economic good. I would urge games companies to join in whatever way they can to back this man, to back this great charity that is doing such extraordinary work.”

SpecialEffect CEO Dr Mick Donegan said, “We’re honoured that the games industry are being loud and proud about supporting our work in helping people with all kinds of physical disabilities to play video games. Games are an amazing medium through which people make friends, socialise and come together for a common cause. With the help of the funds raised through One Special Day, we can extend a gaming welcome to people who would otherwise be excluded.”

One Special Day is open to all companies working in the games industry. To find out more, visit or contact Nick Streeter, SpecialEffect Fundraiser, on 01608 810055 or

donate-button        Twitter


The Stable Block

Cornbury Park




01608 810055

Twitter: @specialeffect

Facebook: specialeffectcharity

Instagram: specialeffectteam

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We’re coming to Develop Conference!


It’s almost time for one of the UKs biggest games conferences and we will be there!

Glyph Quest Chronicles will be on show in the Develop Expo on Wednesday and Thursday – the expo is free so if you are in town do come by and say hi!

Also Leanne will be doing a talk as part of the Indie Boot Camp about how we’ve made the Glyph Quest games over the past 3 years.  Again this is free so you should really pop along 🙂

See you in Brighton!